All right, let’s see how long I can keep this up.
Taped on March 26, 2017
Random note: Color commentator Scott Bowden has changed his name to Christopher Fulton for some reason.
I’m toying with regularly reviewing NWL STL shows on top of the NWL KC shows I already review. We’ll see if I keep up with it. This particular episode seems like a good place to start since it has the NWL debut of Kyle O’Reilly.
Maverick Addresses the Crowd
Maverick had a heck of a battle with Dez Wellston on episode 10 (I recommend it) as part of the St. Louis Championship Tournament, but after he won, he was jumped and beaten down by Cornell Douglass and Castle. Maverick puts over Dez Wellston and calls Douglass a “sick pimp” and Castle one of his “streetwalkers.” He admits that he sustained a concussion from the attack and says he hasn’t been cleared to wrestle yet, so he has to forfeit his tournament spot. Major Baisden comes out and says there’s no way he’ll let him do that. Instead, he says he’ll postpone the match between Maverick and Douglass until the next show (April 9), and the winner will go on to the finals later that night.
Of course, Cornell Douglass comes out (with Castle) to take exception. He says that anybody besides Baisden’s “privileged golden boy” would’ve been forced to forfeit. He asks Baisden what side he’s playing for. The boss says that he’s from the same place as Douglass, but if Douglass wants to step to him, he’d better not miss. Douglass begins to make a statement, but then swings for the heart punch. Baisden dodges and Maverick comes to his defense. He beats down Castle but turns around into a heart punch from Douglass. The Blood Brothers run in to make the save. Basiden says that he’s sick of Douglass and Castle coming out to beat people up, so if they want to fight, Castle can take on Buddy Shepherd tonight (that’ll be on episode 12, I assume).
The Soldiers (Dez Wellston & Neon Iverson) vs. The Anti-Social Network (Tommy Flagg & August Marshall)
At the end of the first episode, Neon Iverson was injured during a tag match against The Underground, but he just recently returned to reform his team with Wellston. The ASN hasn’t changed much since the first episode aside from getting new gear (which pretty much everyone has).
Not a long one. Coming off an injury, Iverson plays the whipping boy to for Flagg and Marshall as they zero in on his hurt knee and keep him from tagging. The ASN haven’t been winning a lot, but they’ve been excelling at their “We hate everybody” gimmicks, and it’s no different here. They’re just miserable and vicious, yelling at and mocking everyone. Iverson does fine with the selling, at least at first.
When Wellston tags in, he runs through the heels and eventually sets Flagg up in the Tree of Joey Lawrence. (There’s a bit of a miscue here when Iverson climbs one turnbuckle and Wellston has to tell him to go to the other one.) Iverson looks to do a coast-to-coast dropkick (not smart with a hurt leg, dude), but Marshall drags him down to the floor by his leg. Wellston does a running dropkick to Flagg, but when he picks him up and tries something else, Flagg counters with a backslide and gets his feet on the ropes for the pin.
Winners – The Anti-Social Network
Rating – OK
“Greatness” Marcellus Gaines (w/ Drew Gold) vs. Jay Lutz
Gaines is a light-heavyweight boxer and prima donna, and Gold is his hype man and manager. Gold says that they’d requested to face a wrestler, but they got a “ne’er-do-well, a street tough, [and] a drunk” because everyone knows they’ll never see a wrestler pin Marcellus Gaines. He emphasized “wrestler” because Gaines lost to Todd Letterman at the last show, but Gold claimed that he’s a football player and modern-day gladiator, so he doesn’t count.
Very brief match. Lutz seems exceptionally trashed, and I’m guessing that’s a storyline in the making. Gaines lands a shot to the bread basket and proclaims his superiority. Lutz spits beer in his face when he turns back around. Lutz hits a forearm and a running chop in the corner, then whips Gaines across. Gaines springs to the top rope and backflips over Lutz, then connects a left hook called the Southside Shiver and gets the pin.
Winner – Marcellus Gaines
Rating – OK
Lutz has to be helped up.
Skyler Beckett w/ Buddy Shepherd vs. Adam Ryan
Conspicuous by his absence is Jackie Lee Bosch. Ryan is also in wrestling tights now instead of the business khakis. Shepherd and Beckett, meanwhile, have gone full babyface in St. Louis. I believe that makes them the first wrestlers to turn in NWL history (unless Roscoe Leech giving Buddy a stunner in NWL KC counts as a turn). Beckett got a haircut.
These two have pretty good chemistry, probably because they were both trained by Michael Elgin. Both of their characters are based around major life changes. While “The Buddy System” has made Beckett more positive and surrounded him with “Buddies,” Jackie Lee Bosch turned Adam Ryan into something sinister and self-reliant. After they go back and forth for a bit, with Ryan getting some heat on Beckett, Beckett comes back with some nice stuff including a shining wizard. He debuts a new move called the Buddy Driver (sort of a piledriver through the ropes), but Ryan kicks out. Beckett kicks out after Ryan does an SST onto his knee, though, so they’re even. Then Ryan makes the mistake of turning his attention to Buddy and telling him his system is a lie. Buddy gets hot, and Ryan starts to grab for him, but Beckett school boys him and gets the three. Ryan really screwed himself there.
Winner – Skyler Beckett
Rating – OK
“The Violent Artist” Kyle O’Reilly vs. Davey Gibson w/ Mathew Grundy
O’Reilly made a surprise appearance at the last NWL STL show to announce that he’d be competing for them. The fans were happy. Davey is coming off a victory over Arik Cannon, so it’s almost like he’s doing his own “Indy World Tour.”
Lengthy match, as expected, going over 20 minutes. They start at a fairly slow pace, and Gibson is the aggressor after a few minutes. He does a sweet rolling counter that looks like a pin but gets turned into a sharpshooter attempt. O’Reilly takes over and works Davey’s arm. He puts him in a hammerlock and does some running knees. I haven’t seem a lot of KOR’s work, so I don’t know if that’s a common method he uses, but it looks cool. After Davey comes back, they go back and forth for a good long time, pulling out some great counters to each other’s stuff. O’Reilly catches Davey in a triangle as Davey comes off the top. Davey reverses a leg lock into a full sharpshooter. He also counters an arm breaker with a sudden sleeper. They beat the tar out of each other with kicks and forearms and do the exhausted no-sell bit near the end. Lots of false finishes before O’Reilly hits the brainbuster for two, then immediately pulls out an armbar for the submission. Crowd loved it, and so did I.
Winner – Kyle O’Reilly
Rating – Good
O’Reilly takes the microphone and says he had no idea what kind of fight he was in for. He puts Davey over as one of the best on the planet. He offers Davey a rematch anytime and wants to pack the house for O’Reilly/Gibson II.
YouTube Exclusives (including spoilers for episode 12)
Overall: Good. Great main event, good storyline progression, intrigue surrounding Jay Lutz as well as Adam Ryan. Can’t go wrong with this one.